Advances in genomic sequencing, molecular medicine and artificial intelligence are going to dramatically improve the landscape of medicine, with cancer leading the way.
The AGAT Foundation has forged a partnership between AGAT Laboratories, Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Calgary Prostate Cancer Centre (PCC) and the University of Calgary to initiate a program designed to develop Artificial Intelligence in the treatment of bladder and prostate cancers. AGAT laboratories which has formed the initial catalyst to establish this initiative with the goal of raising $12 million to ensure stability for years 1-5 and a long-term goal of raising $25 million to ensure long-term success. We strongly believe that is a worthy investment that will significantly improve the overall care of our patients in the near term.
Advances in genomic sequencing, molecular medicine and artificial intelligence are going to dramatically improve the landscape of medicine, with cancer leading the way. It is currently feasible to use these molecular tools to tailor a patient’s cancer treatment to specifically target their individual cancer, however, to date this has not been fully explored nor translated into the clinical environment. Our Personalized Medicine Initiative emphasizes the urgency of getting the right treatment to the right patient at the right time. If we succeed, physicians will not only improve patient survival, they will also improve their quality of life and reduce needless side effects by identifying the treatment from which our patients will benefit the most. Alberta is uniquely positioned to be one of the best, if not the very best jurisdiction in the world to pursue this type of research for a number of key reasons:
- Alberta’s 4.2 million residents are documented through a single provincial electronic medical record which provides a central, uniform source of information on patient diagnosis, treatment and outcome
- The centralized and integrated clinical urology practices of Alberta make it possible to obtain comprehensive and continues information of patient care. This puts them in the unique position to function as the clinical branch of a Personalized Medicine Initiative
- We have already made a considerable investment to established clinical infrastructure (Prostate Cancer Centre, Southern Alberta Institute of Urology) and the bio banking (Alberta Prostate Cancer Research Initiative: APCaRI) required to ensure success in this endeavor
- Secure clinical databases connect patient treatment and outcome data with biological specimens (i.e., cancer material) making it possible to established methods to predict outcome in future patients
Dr. Matthew (Eric) Hyndman, MD, PhD, FRCSC has been actively involved in bringing awareness to research efforts to develop biomarkers for bladder and prostate cancer. As Chairman of Urology at the Southern Alberta Institute of Urology (SAIU) his leadership and expertise combined with our accessible clinical bio-repository and infrastructure will allow the PCC, SAIU and the University of Calgary to become world leaders in this field. Our goal is to raise 12 million to kick-start this endeavor with the aim of leveraging this initial investment with addition grants from government, Alberta/National Funding agencies and support from Angel investors, industry partners and through commercialization of deliverables.
Funding requirements 5 years:
- Set up the wet-bench infrastructure for the Precision Oncology Laboratories (hardware & supplies): $2 million
- Install State of the Art imaging, analytics and computing equipment: $3 million
- Establish the center for Predictive Analytics in Oncology (Artificial intelligence and Cloud Computing): $3.5 million
- Staffing (including researchers, computer scientist and pathology expertise): $3.5 million
- Establish and recruit essential personnel into the Precision Oncology Laboratories (Year 1-2)
- Strengthen and initiate local, national and international collaborations in Predictive Analytics (Year 1-3)
- Ensure longevity of the Personalized Medicine Initiative by leveraging the initiation investment with traditional funding agencies (goal of $25m by year 5)
- Provide evidence of research success in the form of grants, publications, invited addresses (Year 1-5)
- Ensure research is transitioned into the clinical environment via clinical trials to improve care. (Year 3-5)